Air Venturi Dust Devil Mk2 Frangible BB: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dust Devil
Dust Devil Mk2.

This report covers:

  • Dust Devil
  • The Mark 2
  • BB weight in grains
  • Smaller belly band
  • Production is up to speed
  • How can I test them?
  • 499
  • Legends MP40
  • Future BB gun tests
  • Impact tests
  • Bada Bang
  • Is that all?
  • Old Dust Devils
  • New Dust Devils
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Summary

I have been waiting for this day for a long time. The new Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2 is finally here! And that begs the question — what makes it a Mark 2? In recent years we have become used to companies launching new but not fully developed products, in a rush to get them to market. Then they bring out the improved Mark 2 version the following year, after all the fatal flaws have been found and fixed. Hard goods are now being treated like software releases!

Dust Devil

Well, not so, the Dust Devil. It has worked as advertised from day one. It’s a steel BB made from steel dust, so it fragments back into into dust on contact with a hard surface. I have tested it in dozens of different BB guns over the several years it has been around. Which begs the question — why is there a Mark 2?

The Mark 2

According to the Pyramyd Air website the Mark 2 Dust Devil has a tighter weight tolerance, BB to BB. Is that really the case? I weighed 10 of each BB for you and provide the following.

BB weight in grains

Old Dust Devil………Dust Devil Mark 2

4.3………………………….4.6
4.4………………………….4.6
4.3………………………….4.6
4.4………………………….4.6
4.3………………………….4.5
4.3………………………….4.6
4.3………………………….4.7
4.4………………………….4.5
4.4………………………….4.7
4.4………………………….4.6

Okay, that’s 10 of each BB straight from the container. It’s not scientific and the sample size is too small, but it’s what came out of the packages. The old Dust Devils had five that weighed 4.3 grains and five that weighed 4.4 grains. The new Dust Devils had six that weighed 4.6 grains, two that weighed 4.5 grains and 2 that weighed 4.7 grains. So the old Dust Devils varied less, light to heavy, and the new Dust Devils have more that weigh the same. Incidentally, these are the same ranges of weight variation seen in most premium BBs today, only the solid steel ones all start at around 5.1 grains.

The second thing we learn from this is the new Dust Devils are heavier than the old ones. The difference is small, but at that low weight it is significant.

Smaller belly band

The description also says the new Dust Devils have a smaller belly band that aids in accuracy and in feeding in certain spring-loaded BB magazines. I will test the BB magazine feeding later, but today let’s look at the belly band.

Dust Devil old and new
It’s easy to tell the difference between the old Dust Devils and the new ones. Not only is the belly band reduced in size, the new ones are much shinier.

Production is up to speed

The first time Dust Devils were launched they sold out in a couple days and people had to wait for production to catch up. With this launch Pyamyd Air has waited until they had a large stock of the new BBs before announcing it.  I knew they were coming a long time ago and kept my mouth shut until production was fully ramped up.

How can I test them?

I have many things I want to test for you. I think first I will start with the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine that is my most accurate general-purpose BB gun. I will test the old Dust Devils, the new ones, a standard premium BB and maybe a BB that my Carbine found the most accurate.

499

Of course I will also test them in the Daisy 499 — the world’s most accurate BB gun. And there I will pit them against the Avanti Precision Ground Shot that I expect to be the most accurate. But I will also shoot the old Dust Devils for comparison. I will try to test both the Carbine and the 499 in the same report. I think once it is established these are accurate you don’t need to see more testing to make your decision to purchase. But I will continue to test.

Legends MP40

For feeding reliability I will test them in the Umarex Legends MP40 BB submachinegun. I have so much wanted a safe BB for that gun!

Future BB gun tests

And of course I will shoot them in most future BB guns tests I conduct. I like to test all the types of BBs in most guns and these are definitely one type that has no equal anywhere.

Impact tests

I plan on shooting them at a concrete floor and also into a steel pellet trap. For this test I will use a lower-velocity BB gun so we see if they really do break apart as specified. The old ones did, so let’s see about these.

Bada Bang

I’m about to start testing the Bada Bang electronic target for you and I waited until I could test it with the new Dust Devils. The Bada Bang is a very rugged target that will stand up to 12 foot-pounds of energy, but it will also function with much lower-powered BB guns. It is a steel target, so of course the BBs have to be safe from rebounds.

Dust Devil Bada Bang
The Bada Bang electronic target begs to be shot fast with an accurate BB repeater!

Is that all?

I weighed and photographed both BBs today. Let me now test their velocity for you and give you a standard premium steel BB for comparison. I will use a current Red Ryder to test both velocity and feeding reliability in a gravity-feed BB gun.

Old Dust Devils

Old Dust Devils averaged 303 f.p.s. from a modern Red Ryder. The low was 283 and the high was 312 f.p.s., so the spread was 29 f.p.s.

New Dust Devils

New Dust Devils averaged 274 f.p.s. from the same BB gun. The low was 261 and the high was 284 f.p.s., so the spread was 23 f.p.s.

Daisy Premium Grade BBs

With Daisy Premium Grade BBs the Red Ryder averaged 282 f.p.s. The low was 274 and the high was 286 f.p.s., so the spread was 12 f.p.s.

Summary

We have a new Dust Devil to test. I will keep after them, but you should know if they are what you want after the first accuracy test. That will be next.

84 thoughts on “Air Venturi Dust Devil Mk2 Frangible BB: Part 1

  1. BB
    What diameter is the new Dust devil band compared to the old Dust devils. And also the diameter of the ball compared to the old and new ones.

    What diameter is the steel bb’s you tested the velocity on also. That way we have a comparison there also on the steel bb’s and the new and old Dust devils.



    • Yogi,

      You might get away with using them in a shotgun if you used the polymer filler pellets to prevent them from rattling around and to pad them during acceleration. The issue there is you are going to be eating the steel dust. Now as a defense round that might work pretty cool, especially with larger shot, say #1 buck.

      I am certain the frags will rust. Regular bbs will when the coating is scratched.



  2. BB is gonna test beeebees.
    BB is gonna test beeebees.

    I just may have to pick up a pack of these to try in my 99. It would be nice to plink at my plinking targets. Oh by the way, for those of you who have not had a bb ricochet back and hit you in the face, I can testify they will. You had best be sure to protect those eyes. They are all you get.


    • ” Oh by the way, for those of you who have not had a bb ricochet back and hit you in the face, I can testify they will.”
      RidgeRunner, I’m with you on that; that’s why I don’t shoot BBs at my knock-down steel targets…
      …but if these Dust Devils are accurate, I may try some on steel just for fun; thanks.
      Take care,
      dave



        • Dave and RR,

          For sure on wood, ancient garage in the back of my family home. Used a rock to hammer a tack through a paper target and into that dry, almost petrified wood siding. Walked about 15 steps away and shot a BB at the target from my Red Ryder gun. I saw the BB going toward the target and almost as rapidly bounce back and strike my glasses with a sharp “clack.”

          I was invincible at that age so just took a few steps back and continued to shoot at the target. Hadn’t thought about the incident until we saw “Christmas Story.”

          Dan


        • RR,

          I get ricochets from other targets too. Even ones you might think would “give” a little.

          My favorite target: political signs. (I know… this just begs for jokes…)

          Those signs are plentiful, free, and seat into the ground nicely with their wire frame. Put on a peel-n-stick target, and you’re in business. But most signs are a ribbed plastic… and BBs dont penetrate.It just throws the BB back at you.

          Better have those glasses on.

          StarboardRower


  3. B.B.
    Looking forward to your testing on this 2nd gen sintered steel? ammo test.
    The band is like the one a cricket ball has. The pitcher will shine one side of the ball
    on his trousers and leave the other side rough, to help with the spin.
    The badda bang target is interesting to me too. My Synergis is too much for it tho.
    Hope these work well.
    Best,
    Rob


  4. B.B.,

    The difference the photo shows is cosiderable. The belly bands notwithstanding, does a rough texture make roundballs more or less accurate in rifling? In a smoothbore? Obviously, more steel powder and less binding material could account for weight differences, but are the new ones different in size? Are they more or less uniform?

    Michael


  5. B.B.,

    Off-topic, but my wife and I are considering buying an inexpensive 2-person raft for occasional use, going to sites with it uninflated and returning with it mostly deflated. Does anyone here have experience using HPA bottles and/or DC powered HPA compressor for filling these low PSI (but relatively high volume) inflatables?

    I believe that “self-inflating” life rafts and air mattresses have at times used CO2 cannsiters, but I would be worried about cracking the inexpensive vinyl on a recreational inflatable with super-cold air. On the other hand, if CO2 is an option, we would consider it.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    Michael


    • OFF TOPIC
      Michael,

      You do not say what exactly you have in mind, but I do have some experience with infatables, from a Zodiac at one time to my kid’s small rafts.

      With the exception of high pressure (relative term!) inflatable floors on top end models I believe that the best overall inflator is a dedicated low pressure-high volume turbine, like those used for inflatable mattresses that can be run from batteries or better yet, from your car’s 12 volt outlets. A vacuum cleaner in reverse works quite well too, but you generally need AC line voltage for them. Avoid anything with the name ‘compressor’ in it.

      As a side note, lately I favor modern kayaks. They provide a good balance of safety and exploring capabilities, besides a much needed workout. Good inflatable ones are not cheap though.

      Whatever you get, do not forget a good life jacket, and have safe fun.

      Henry


      • Henry,

        Thanks much for the response.

        My wife and I have shoulder issues that mean this will be about lolling around, not getting a workout in a kayak or canoe. Also, I am thinking of lower-end rafts such as those sold online for under $300. So something like your kids’ small rafts except for the small part. And as an avid waterskier in my younger years, I still have some high-end life vests and an appreciation for their necessity.

        Michael


      • Henry,

        Thanks very much, Henry.

        You prompted me to go to the huge auction site, and I found there actually are many 400lpm, 12volt/car cigarette lighter powered pumps out there for very little money. They also deflate, like a shop vac does, which is a bonus.

        I knew this was a great place to come for answers. Thanks very much, again, Henry.

        Michael


        • Michael,
          Glad to be of help, even in a minor way.
          On your other comment, I also had shoulder issues a few years back but physical therapy saved me from surgery. That’s was a good deal!
          By the way, paddling doesn’t hurt my shoulders, but I am not suggesting you do it – every person is different. Best luck!
          Henry


          • Henry,

            My wife has a touch of arthritis on one shoulder, and I have a congenital defect in both shoulders and the same defect but mirror-imaged in both hips. I can hold and lift my arms forward with no problem, but raising them sideways or in a windmill throwing motion has always caused pain (and over the years scarring inside the joints). For me PT would be of no help. I believe even laparoscopic surgery wouldn’t take care of it, only full invasive opening up of the joint. And of course, that would be X2. No thanks.

            Michael


    • Michael,

      You don’t want HPA attached to your raft. Rafts inflate to single digit pressures and their firmness will fluctuate as the air inside warms and cools. If you were to try to top up your raft with a HPA tank you could blow it to smithereens. I have owned a number of inexpensive rafts that I built transoms for and mounted trolling motors to them. It is also easy to make a 2 piece floor board for them that allows you to mount a swivel seat to an inverted milk crate and set it on a firm surface. My wife and I probably got over 50 weekend fishing trips out of a SEA EAGLE 9 that we owned for about 7 years and I used it alone another 30 or 40 times. The inflatable that I currently have is an INTEX Mariner 4. It is made of thicker PVC than the Sea Eagle and has more reinforcement on the bottom but the Sea Eagle had higher gunwales and my wife preferred that. Both are very comfortable for 2 people to bobber fish from. Ultralight rods will all but eliminate the smacks to the face, the unintended smacks, at least. But, you wanted inflating recommendations so here’s mine. Ryobi makes a great low pressure inflate/deflater that runs forever on one of their 18 volt+ tool batteries and inflates boats of this size in less than 10 minutes while you just watch. It’s small and light and much more compact to keep with you on the boat for adjusting the air pressure that a hand pump. Just for the record, a duo action hand pump will also do a fast fill or deflate, provided you don’t go too cheap. The Ryobi blower is also great for blowing crap off the picnic table or work bench or the sheet of plywood that you just sawed in two.Probably the best reason to avoid HPA or CO2 is that they can’t suck the air out of your boat when it’s time to put it away. I takes a lot of effort to squeeze the air out of a multi chambered inflatable.

      Hope this helps.

      Half



        • GF1,

          It was me that thought the boat might pop, not Shootski. I said that it could pop if you were to try to top off a boat that was already nearly full. That has to be done regularly because the water temp will shrink the air then you beach the boat to eat lunch and the sun heats it up, etc.

          It really isn’t the big issue though. The tank would be heavier than the pump I mentioned, the raft will have a fill valve that’s meant to be fitted to a pump like I described without doing any Jerry-rigging, the pump will be incapable of creating a pressure that would pop a boat, the pump can suck the air out of the boat, the pump is smaller than any HPA tanks that I’ve seen and it’s handy to have to blow yourself with if you get too hot out on the lake. There just isn’t any good reason to mess with HPA tanks and I think portable HPA pumps would be even worse.

          Half


          • Half
            How the Heck did I get Shootski out of it?

            Anyway I was thinking a 80 cubic foot tank or such. Not a compressor. Although the HPA compressor would be more forgiving than a HPA tank or bottle. Big volume and less given air flow than a tank or bottle.

            In the end. A compressor and generator or battery would be unwanted weight and room taken up on the raft. But a fair sized carbon fiber tank could be the ticket. Me I don’t know. Haven’t never really thought about it.


          • Half,

            I use Rotary Cooling (INTENTIONAL capsize with roll back up) when I’m In my EPIC 18X and get too warm! Benefits of a proper fitting sprayskirt 😉

            shootski



    • Michael,

      NRS IS a well respected and trusted outfitter: https://www.nrs.com/category/3196/rafting/inflatables?gclid=CjwKCAiAnfjyBRBxEiwA-EECLLilJL2mJf3njfEU75TC9fSY8sVp9jThFAZLmlzqsmu9XXK3YrWH8RoCFpMQAvD_BwE
      They have lots of educational videos and informative write-ups.
      They have power and manual inflators/pumps that also deflate too: https://www.nrs.com/search/?q=Inflators
      Remember buy QUALITY once cry once! ALSO, your life may be depending on the vessel’s capabilities! Always carry a whistle/airhorn as well as a flashlight. Oh and dress for the water temperature not the air temperature Realize that experienced kayakers, paddle boarders, canoers, and rafters say, Cotton (clothing) Kills for good reason!

      Bon Voyage!

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        Is there a magic number for hypothermia? Somewhere I read that 50 degrees F is the danger zone, is that true? Of course time in the water is a big factor.

        Mike


        • Mike,

          Moulton Avery is a good friend of mine he has all the information you are looking for. He and I have paddle and swam a number of Nautical miles: http://www.coldwatersafety.org/nccwsRules3.html
          Hypothermia is actually one of the lesser issues we are faced with. COLD SHOCK can kill within seconds as well as SWIM FAILURE unless you are wearing a proper Coast Guard rated life vest ([PFD] Personal Flotation Device) you will never have the chance of dying because of Hypothermia in 50°F/10°C water!
          “Cold water can kill you in less than a minute. It’s actually so dangerous that it kills a lot of people within seconds. Thousands of people have drowned after falling into cold water and a lot of them died before they even had a chance to reach the surface.”
          Interesting that you chose 50°F…that is VERY COLD water. I was taught in Deep Water survival that you can die of Hypothermia in 70°F water in about one to to days even with the air temperature remaining above the same temperature.
          I wear a drysuit with thermal layers underneath suited to my worst case expected Time to Rescue this time of year and on warm days just shake my head when I see whole families in canoes wearing blue jeans and cotton T Shirts; usually with NO life vests worn or often none even in the canoe! That 50°F water only inches away is a most efficient killer.
          But do read Multon’s outstanding work at the Link above and share it widely.

          shootski


      • Shootski,

        Thanks for all of that info. Ditto that for cotton in water. Many years ago I had to jump from a boat into a lake to rescue an elderly dog that was in distress and foundering. I was barefoot and peeled my shirt off, but my jeans really weighted me down a bit. I am thankful for a particular cotton t-shirt in “The Deep,” however. :^)

        As for cold water temps, a wetsuit, even just a long-jon or shorty, helps. I once waterskied with just poly shorts and a ski vest on a Wisconsin lake in early November, and the air was in the lower 50s (an unusually warm day), but man that water had been pretty cold for a few weeks! I could not wait to get up on the ski, check out the wakes of the boat I was auditioning, and get off and out of the water. I’d skied with drysuits before, but there wasn’t one around to use that time.

        Michael


  6. Everyone,

    I have been reading for several days that the comments are no longer coming to you via email. Is this still the case?

    The Pyramyd Air IT is still working on resolving several issues with WordPress and this blog and the more I can tell them the more they will know what to look for.

    Thanks,

    B.B.


  7. B.B.,
    I have an off-topic question about lubricating spring guns. I went back and read a couple of your reports:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2005/11/lubricating-your-spring-gun-part-1-chambers-mainsprings/
    https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/02/hy-score-800-spring-pistol/
    I just bought a Hy-Score 800 off eBay and should get it in about a week, so I am trying to find some information about how to get some lube to the internals without taking it apart; thank you.
    Take care & God bless,
    dave


    • Dave,

      The mainspring can be partially seen and I think a good machine grade oil for that. They are lower velocity so Pellgunoil is what I used. But I put it on the shutter in hopes it would seep back to the piston. The piston in that gun moves backwards and also surrounds the barrel. It’s a unique system.

      B.B.


      • “But I put it on the shutter in hopes it would seep back to the piston.”
        Excellent; that’s the kind of info for which I was looking; thanks, B.B.! =>


      • B.B.,
        I put some Crosman pellgun oil through the shutter, and lubed up all the pivot points; I can’t get a reading off my chronograph (not with any gun; it looks like it’s down for a bit), but the power seems a little less than my Tempest (which is also a .177). With JSB RS pellets, I got about a 2″ group at 10 feet; but with some old H&N match pellets, I got a 3/8″ group at 10 feet; so it has some plinking potential. I’m having a lot of fun with it on steel spinners on the 5-meter range…a cool old gun, a real piece of Americana! Thanks.
        Take care & God bless,
        dave



          • B.B.,
            I may have lucked out; in some of the scarce online info about that pistol, I read that the ones with steel rings for a seal had an oiling hole to oil the rings. I found such a hole, and added a few drops of oil. I still can’t get my chronograph to work, but the gun went from just hitting steel to being able to reset the resettable targets; also, penetration testing into light pine had the pellet from the HyScore (marked “H” on the left) penetrating the exact same distance into the board as the pellet from my Tempest (marked “T” on the right). My Tempest is a little on the light side, shooting 7.33 grain JSB RS pellets at 420 fps. So it appears the oil on the seals may have brought the pistol back up to around 400 fps. While it’s far from being the most powerful or accurate air pistol I own, I just love this thing as a really cool blast-from-the-past! Thank you for reporting on it, or I would never have bought one. =>
            Take care & God bless,
            dave


  8. The “old” style will fragment a bit just going through a corrugated cardboard target backer. I had steel dust (in front) of my target box/trap when testing the originals. These new ones seem to be (at least appear to be) more compacted.

    It would be interesting to know the (reasoning) behind the design changes (from the makers). In other words,… the why’s. Also,…. as I recall,.. the originals were launched with a fair bit of fan fare and (actual testing in various air guns) to back up their claims. I would have liked to have seen a bit of that again with this latest launch.

    Chris


  9. Also,…. has anyone ever tested (actual) ball bearings,… made very precise,.. in a bb gun? Other than the added cost being a downside,… that would pretty much take ammo variations out of the equation all together.

    Chris

    BB,… Maybe get out the Granger or Mc Master Carr catalog and have a look see? 😉 Might take some looking,.. but it would darn sure make for an interesting test!


  10. Mike in Atl
    Right. I forgot, I also use Thunderbird.
    Well, as far as the test goes, I received your response on all three of my email accounts – AOL, Gmail, and Thunderbird.
    I was also able to pick up your response by monitoring my RSS feed. It appears IT has got a pretty good control of this.
    LMo


  11. Look forward to your shooting test of the Umarex MP-40 with these BBs, BB. Just acquired the semiauto firearm version in 9mm; the Umarex replica will probably be the closest I’ll ever get to a full-auto MP-40 that is actually within budget and without having to jump all the regulatory hurdles.


  12. Michael
    Sorry for the delay. Being on the west coast really has drawbacks time-wise. Big reason I don’t comment any more than I do. Practically every comment/observation or question I might have has most often already been posted by someone 2-3 time-zones east.
    Yeah, :-> you have a point about the Linux and AOL. I started using Ubuntu 8.4 and AOL was the only mailer I could find that worked without me turning “hardcore”. For some reason I couldn’t get Thunderbird to work at the time. I do have Thunderbird now and GMail that I’m exploring all the features on.
    I guess the bottom line is, I just don’t like too much change. I still consider PCPs as gong over to the “dark side”.
    Larry in Algona


  13. Half,

    I can not argue with any of that. On the high pressure inflation topic,.. I would bet that there is large inflatables that can be inflated in just a matter of a few seconds,… like for military use and small ship/boat use. Shootski might have some insight on that? Probably a fixed volume tank, at a fixed pressure, to exhaust a fixed volume of air, to inflate to a fixed final pressure, for a fixed flotation vessel.

    Pilot flotation vest? Commercial aircraft inflatable slides?

    Chris

    Size 9 eh? I wear a 13. I spray the sneakers down with some of that flex seal stuff and if the canoe sinks,… I have 2 back ups to hop right into! 😉


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